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Vacaville - Old Post Office - Go Go Go

Stanley Stephan | Mar 13, 200309:18 AM

Or maybe ... STOP ... the next time you are in Vacaville or passing by. This restaurants holds it's own against any of SF's better upscale restaurants, comparatible with a Boulevard type of restaurant.

I finally was at the right place at the right time and had lunch there yesterday. I say the right place because currently Vacaville is in bloom. The entire downtown is lined with trees covered in white blossoms.

An old converted post office, the restaurant
is owned by Morgan and Unni Song who opened Rodin in San Francisco and Creek's Side Bistro in San Anselmo. It features seafood.

The food I had for lunch was top notch, the presentation lovely and the atmosphere very relaxed and soothing.

I started with the crabcake - a tennis ball sized croquette on top of a triangle of wonderful grilled polenta and topped with mango salsa. The crab flavor was rich and clean. The polenta savory. The only nit that I have with the restaurant food-wise is that the sweets are too sweet. I have to qualify this by saying I've been on a diet for a few weeks where I've been avoiding sugar, so it might just be me. However, I thought the mango salsa was too sweet and detracted from the dish. My suggestion would to be to order any sweet salsa's on the side.

For the entree I had blue nose seabas served orver arborio rice and baby spinach with roasted red beets. It had a drizzle of a bechemel sauce and a teaspoon of salsa on top. The fish was excellent but I really have to rave about, of all things, the rice. A beautiful saffron color it hinted of parmesian (just the slightest) and perhaps chicken broth. The texture was just perfect. I don't even much care for grains, but I saved most of this for last to savor.

Bread is pugilese by Grace Baking.

There is a nice wine list. I enjoyed a pino grigio with the meal.

I blew the diet and had baked Alaska for dessert, because, well, I never had it before. It was covered in a beautiful, slightly browned merangue which encased a vanilla frozen custard and a thin sponge cake base. It was surrounded by pools of raspberry and mango sauce with fresh raspberries. May be the diet again, but this was achingly sweet. The raspberries helped cut the sweetness. Of course I ate it all anyway. Can't remember if I licked the plate.

I think I ordered the most expensive dishes on the menut and all of the above came to $29.

The walls of the restaurant are mustard colored. A huge mural of old Vacaville is on the far wall over the open kitchen. There are touches of brass and the original oak trim. There is a subtle Southwest style. Terracotta tiles and flooring. Pinkish terra cotta looking ceiling fans hang from the high ceiling. The original vault is at one end of the restuarant. There is an outdoor patio. There is a lovely five seat wooden bar at the other end of the restaurant. The white tablecloths give an elegance to the room.

The service is not up to San Francisco standards. The servers are all young locals. You can tell this is their first experience in a better restauarant. They are pleasant, if not polished.

I will stop again. It makes a nice break on the way to and from Tahoe ... or a relaxing end or start of the day to shopping at the outlets.

The Old Post Office Seafood and Grill
301 Main St
Vacaville, CA 95688

Take the Merchant Street exit about two exits before the Nut Tree exit coming from SF.

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